Friday, 31 October 2014

Taffs and Poulters Hills

Thursday 30th October 2014

Track at start of walk
I had been thinking of going on a longer than normal walk for a while and decided that today would be the day. The walk I chose was to be in the state forest west of Levendale and would incorporate both Taffs and Poulters Hills. I expected  quite an easy walk, mainly on forestry roads and tracks with little or no views, and that is about how it turned out.
To reach the walk start I drove out of Hobart to Sorrell and turned left on the A3 and headed to Runnymede where I turned onto the Woodsdale Road and then after some time onto New Country Marsh Road. The walk start was about 5.1 kms. down this road at a locked gate with just enough room to park one car.
Spring colour beside the track
I had an early start from home so I began walking at 0735, around the locked gate and uphill on an old seldom used track. It was easy walking and once I came to a spot where the track did not seem to go in the direction I was expecting, I took to the bush and found it once again. I realized my mistake on the way back, as the track was not where it was shown on the map. Just after regaining the track I left it and scrub bashed down a slope to pick up a good forestry road.
Good forestry road
 There was a myriad of roads and tracks to pick from, some on the map and some not, but I chose to walk in a southwesterly direction on an excellent road. There were wild flowers everywhere and it was very pleasant walking along and listening to all the birds. After a time the road headed east and then finally petered out. I made a decision to scrub bash across country to pick up another track. I was soon regretting this as I struggled through a cutting grass swamp, with grass above my head, but it didn't last too long and I was soon back on a decent track.
Echidna beside the road
I came across an echidna beside the road and this was the first of two that I spotted on the day. I also saw countless wallabies and pademelons and birds and this was the most wildlife I had seen in ages. I continued on along the road through some nice forest which had regenerated since being logged. There were many tall trees.
Tall trees

More spring colour
Soon I reached the turn off and walked up to the top of Taffs Hill and then along further to see where the track went. It came to a T intersection and this is where I turned around and walked back to the top of the hill for a snack. Taffs Hill is rather a disappointment as a hill and doesn't even warrant a summit cairn, so I set about making one at what I determined to be the highest point, although that could be somewhat debatable.
Taffs Hill summit cairn

Taffs Hill
I soon headed back down and walked in a easterly direction past a large quarry to the headwaters of the Prosser River, where there was a bridge crossing.
Quarry beside the road

Start of the Prosser River
After this I walked north up to the summit of Poulters Hill. There were fleeting views of the surrounding hills as I ascended, but nothing spectacular.
Track towards Poulters Hill
Poulters Hill was more of a hill than Taffs but nothing spectacular, and again no summit cairn, although it has one now. I stopped for lunch before heading back down.
Poulters Hill summit cairn

Poulters Hill
I followed various tracks on my return to the car, all the time staying inside the State Forest boundary. I corrected my mistake on the outward leg and stayed on the track which didn't follow the track on the map, although that is not unusual.
This was an easy walk through a typical forestry area, and although most of it has been logged in the past, it is regenerating and providing a good habitat for various animals. I did see Tasmanian Devil scats as well. Most of the walk could be ridden on a mountain bike except for the scrub bash sections, but there are plenty of tracks to choose from and the lack of evidence of vehicular traffic is pleasing.
Distance: 21.6 kms.
Time: 6'02"
Ascent: 640 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

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